What is your definition of ‘comfort’? Oxford Languages defines ‘comfort’ as:
a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.
the easing or alleviation of a person's feelings of grief or distress.
Too often I equate ‘comfort’ with the first one – and tend to try to avoid those things that cause grief or distress. I like to stick to my little ‘comfort zone’ where my path is smooth and pleasurable. Keep your head down and don’t make waves. The problem is…that’s NOT where God has called me to live.
I am extremely nearsighted. Without my glasses or contact lenses, I can only see clearly what is right at the end of my nose...beyond that, things get increasingly blurry. When I am trying to live inside of my little comfort zone, it’s like taking off my glasses and only wanting to see what is right in front of me.
God likes to challenge that kind of thinking (and He does quite regularly). Because the fact is, Jesus calls me to a quite different way of living and seeing. Jesus says: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me”Luke 9:23. My Bible study this week reminded me that “Obeying Christ means giving up your own desires and plans to yield to His.” (BSF Notes, lesson 11, page 119) Ouch. Point taken!
Our all powerful, all knowing, Sovereign God was willing to leave the glory of heaven and the worship of angels to come down to earth and limit Himself as a helpless, human baby. He subjected Himself to hunger, thirst, and all manner of temptation, pain and suffering, yet He never, ever sinned. All so that He could take the punishment for my selfishness…my sin. He defeated sin and death so that it no longer has a hold on me. He is with me and lives in me, equipping me for ALL that He calls me to say and do. Now THAT is true comfort! That is lasting joy!
Who in your family, your neighborhood, your school, your workplace needs to hear these ‘tidings’ – this Good News - of Jesus’ comfort and joy?
First, please be in prayer. Join me in asking God for a heart of compassion for those He has placed in our lives who don’t know His comfort and joy. And then ask Him to give us the opportunity to share the Good News we are celebrating – not just at Christmas, but everyday.
Let’s get on God’s agenda page. Let’s be willing to step outside of our comfort zones into places where God equips and enables us to do immeasurable more than we could ever dream we could do! Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to HIS power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
May grace and peace be yours in abundance,
Church Operations: Ron’s Beginnings
Before arriving at CFC, Personnel Chair, Tom Schuetz asked me to develop a framework for emphasis during my first 30-45 days. I wanted to share an overview of that plan with you so you continue to have a good sense of what a Director of Operations does in a church. As a reminder, church operations concentrates primarily on five (5) areas: finance, facility management, human resources, technology and organizational management.
Within the first few weeks, it is important for me to understand our church budget, how it has performed and of course how and where we spend the tithes, offerings and income of the church. Sandy Ver Meer has been very helpful in explaining budgets and our processes. I will also get to know our church management software and how the church is managed through it, including income and expenses and working with our payroll company and local bank.
In the area of facility management, this is probably one of the longer introduction processes. Meeting with deacons and others who have or will give me tours of the facility and explaining the small nuances of the building and its rooms is important. It takes a lot of various accounts like internet, phone, copier and office supplies to run a church operation and knowing who we use and why is great. Facilities also include insurances and areas like safety and security. These are very important areas to me.
As we take care of the staff we currently have and as we plan to welcome new staff to the team in the coming months, my understanding of our policies and procedures as well as benefits, health insurance, etc. will help existing staff as well as to prepare to “onboard” new staff so they can get right to work! As transitions begin to take shape, it is important to place staff where they are skilled and gifted and set everyone up for success.
Understanding our computer network and the many licenses we have as well as the applications we use are critical in the operation of the church and its many programs and ministries. Technological support to worship and also excellence in online worship are VERY important to me.
Organizationally, I’ll have time to meet with Consistory and understand processes and procedures as they currently stand and support our leaders through committees and various meetings during the week where existing strategy will come alive. Getting to know our partners in the community is also very important early on.
The bottom line is that it is fun to support the various processes and ministries that help us honor and glorify God. It’s great working for His kingdom!
On November 18th the consistory held their meeting. Joining us was Ron Fischer in his new role as Director of Operations.
A great blessing was welcoming 6 guests who have requested to become a part of Christ’s Family Church. On December 6th, we will welcome George and Helen Andringa, Joe and Sue Basala, Ron Fischer, and Cathy Hettrick.
The consistory worked on the order of the Congregational Meeting to be held on December 12th, following the worship service. We will first have the election of elders and deacon, followed by the budget, updates from committees and staff, and then we will discuss and vote on the Consistory’s recommendation to leave the Reformed Church of America to become part of the Alliance of Reformed Churches. To make the process go smoothly, we would like to ask that if you have a question concerning this topic, that you submit it by email or in writing to a consistory member by Thursday, December 9th so that we can compile them and eliminate duplication.
Please join the consistory in prayer for this important decision. Please pray for the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us as we discern God’s plans for CFC.
OPPORTUNITIES TO SERVE! Can you help us get ready for this Saturday’s Advent Event – THE WAY in a Manger? FRIDAY @ 9:30 am – we are looking for 3-4 people to assemble Nativity Snack bags. Report to room 110 (downstairs, across the hall from the kitchen). FRIDAY @ 2:00 pm – we need help setting up the Bethlehem Marketplace in the gym. ANYTIME – we still need to cut ties for two of the blankets we will be tying in the Marketplace. Bring your scissors and cut at church or you can take one home! SATURDAY from 3:00-5:00 pm – we need volunteers at THE WAY in a Manger! You can point people in the right direction along the Advent Trail…or sing a short angelic song burst for the Shepherds’ station…or take photos of families at the end of the trail. SATURDAY @ 5:00 pm - CLEAN UP – we will need help taking down and putting things away to get ready for Worship on Sunday! TEXT Becky at 563-940-7605 if you can help in any way!
Print outs of the 2022 budget are on the information desk.
1. CFC supports Hope at the Brick House in Davenport. Joyce Klopp is the director. The November newsletter says thanks to all who donated at the banquet fundraiser and at Pizza Ranch night. It also says a Brick House volunteer gives one on one help twice a week to a 5th grader who has speech and educational delays plus sensory issues and great anxiety in the classroom. This boy was elated to get his own Children’s Bible Story book. He took it home to read with his mom. The next day at the Brick House he recalled nearly every detail of the first five stories! When attempting to read further, he said, “I don’t want to get ahead.” He wanted to read with his mom so she would not “miss out” on the stories! Give thanks to the Lord for the staff and volunteers that minister to about 40 kids in the neighborhood.
2. CFC supports Dave and Beth Jolly who work for Reach Beyond. They helped establish a Christian radio station in Romania and are now helping in Romania and Greece where they are leading refugee relief efforts. The work in Greece is on the Greek island of Lesbos where refugees are in the Moria camp. Greece has been tightening restrictions for asylum claims and so refugees fleeing war and persecution in the Middle East are trying to find new ways to get to Europe. One of those ways is thru Romania. Ask the Lord to give Dave and Beth wisdom to encourage Christian ministry partners and plan for service efforts in those 2 countries.
Missions Committee 11-30-21
Dordt University thanks the congregation for its recent offering of $500.00 for the Dordt Annual Fund Drive. Our task of training kingdom citizens requires collaboration, and so we are grateful for your faithful support. Dordt University continues to be blessed by God, in its mission of raising up young people who will shape culture and further God's kingdom in all areas of life. The University had been ranked #1 in student engagement by the Wall Street Journal, meaning that our students are inspired in the classroom and recommending Dordt to their peers. We are immensely thankful for a faculty dedicated to Dordt's Reformed, Christian perspective, for students who pursue the vision of serviceable insights, and for alumni who honor the University with their effective kingdom work.
Vice President for Advancement
Congregational Meeting December 12th following the worship service
The following individuals will be presented for an affirmation vote before the congregation:
Elders - Jessie Madden, Kat Carter
Deacon - Dave Wright
Copies of the proposed 2022 budget are on the information desk.
We will be voting whether or not to leave the RCA.
Year End Giving
A reminder that in order to receive credit for 2021, gifts must either be dropped off at the office, or postmarked by 12/31/21. Any gifts received after that date will be credited to your 2022 giving.
The NURSERY IS MINISTRY…is God calling YOU to serve?
Nursery ministry should be so much more than just soothing away tears, changing diapers, keeping up with bottles and making rocking chairs rock. The children we serve aren’t “just babies.” They are made in the image of God and have great potential to learn about God so that one day they might trust in Christ as their Savior. We are seeking 5 more mission minded volunteers willing to serve on Sundays during worship in our Nursery Ministry. You can pick your dates to serve! Sign up to join the team: NURSERY MINISTRY TEAM
Thanks for welcoming these young ones in Jesus' Name!